Simple online risk questionnaire launched to mark diabetes month

by Barbara Hewitt on November 10, 2014

People in Canada are being urged to identify their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by completing a simple online questionnaire to mark Diabetes Awareness Month.

Throughout November, the Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA) is promoting the Don’t Be Risky Campaign at a time when it is estimated that a million people in the country are living with undiagnosed type 2 diabetes.

brain diabetes

Early diagnosis can help those with diabetes get the treatment they need

The Canadian Diabetes Risk Questionnaire, developed by the Public Health Agency of Canada, aims to help Canadians determine their risk of developing type 2 diabetes and prediabetes.

‘Knowing the risk factors for diabetes will provide Canadians with information to act and potentially lower their risk, in consultation with their primary care provider,’ said Rick Blickstead, president and chief executive officer of the CDA.

‘Early diagnosis can ensure that individuals living with undiagnosed diabetes, prediabetes, and at risk of diabetes receive the treatment they need. We encourage Canadians to participate in this campaign and share it with their social networks to spread the word about the importance of prevention, awareness and early diagnosis,’ he added.

The questionnaire can be found at the website. There is also information on risk factors such as having a parent, brother, or sister with diabetes and being a member of a high risk group such as those of Hispanic, South Asian, Asian, or African descent.

Other risk factors include having health complications associated with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, being overweight, especially if that weight is mostly carried around the stomach. Further to that, giving birth to a baby that weighs more than nine pounds at birth or having had gestational diabetes also ups the chances of being diagnosed.

Type 2 diabetes and prediabetes usually develop in adulthood, although more children and adolescents are being diagnosed. Prediabetes means a person’s blood glucose (sugar) levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes.

Nearly half of those with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes. Research shows that some long term diabetes complications such as heart disease and nerve damage may begin during prediabetes, but the risk of developing diabetes can be reduced by nearly 60% through lifestyle modifications.

The CDA points out that if left undiagnosed or untreated, diabetes is a leading cause of life threatening complications, including heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, blindness and amputation. Currently, 20 people are diagnosed with diabetes every hour of every day.

The CDA is the registered charity that helps diabetics manage their disease as effectively as possible, while also seeking to help Canadians in preventing or delaying the development of type 2 diabetes.

It offers a wide array of support services to members of the public, health care professionals, schools and workplaces as well as funding research on better treatments and to find a cure.

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the Community and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Please see your doctor before making any changes to your diabetes management plan.

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